New Tokyo condo to be demolished as it blocks view of Mt. Fuji

A street in Tokyo was known for its view of Mount Fuji. But a newly constructed building spoiled it for the locals. The developer has now decided to demolish it, given the effect on the view of the famous mountain.

Sekisui House decided on June 3 to demolish Grande Maison Kunitachi Fujimi Dori, a 10-story condominium in Kunitachi City, western Tokyo, citing its impact on surrounding areas. They notified the city the following day.

Grande Maison Kunitachi Fujimi Dori is set to be demolished.

Blocking the view of Mt. Fuji

Sekisui House says they made the decision due to a lack of consideration about the view from a distance. As construction approached completion, the company "recognized the impact on the view of Mount Fuji" and "voluntarily decided to cancel the project."

The picture shows the condominium partly blocking the view of Mt. Fuji.

It also says the construction plan had been changed twice in response to requests and opinions from local residents.

Local residents oppose plan

The construction of the condominium began last January after Kunitachi City approved the plan in November 2022.

Local residents, however, voiced their concerns. The city consulted a council of experts based on the town development ordinance and submitted instructions to Sekisui House, asking them to provide detailed explanations to local residents and make efforts to reduce the "volume of the building."

In response, the company decided to change the height of the condominium from 11 stories to 10. But it turned down calls for a further reduction in size.

The residents then submitted a petition to the city assembly asking for measures to review the project.

Developer to pay compensation

The building is located about 10 minutes' walk from Kunitachi Station. It has a total of 18 housing units, priced mainly from 70 million to under 90 million yen. They were supposed to be handed over to purchasers next month.

Sekisui House says it will take all possible measures, including financial compensation, based on the individual circumstances of the buyers.

It notes that the condominium was planned and built in compliance with relevant laws and ordinances, and there are no legal violations.

Sekisui House says it didn't sufficiently consider the impact on the area, but there was no violation of any law.

Local residents express mixed reactions

A woman in her 70s says that she really enjoyed the view of Mount Fuji from the street when she got out of the station. "I was sad that the view was blocked, so I'm happy about getting it back."

A man in his 60s says he is not sure if businesses need to consider local residents' feelings so much. "Some people may be happy to see Mount Fuji, but personally, I don't feel inconvenienced even if the view is blocked," he says.

City mayor: 'Deeply regrettable'

The Kunitachi municipal assembly on Monday demanded that the city have Sekisui House explain to local residents why it decided to demolish the condominium.

Mayor Nagami Kazuo on Wednesday said the city sent the request to the developer.

"I found Sekisui House's approach deeply regrettable," he said at the city assembly.

"We issued guidance based on the concerns and anxieties of the local residents when the company planned the construction. Now, the local community has to face the issue of demolition work. There will inevitably be consequences from this."

Kunitachi City Mayor Nagami Kazuo says the city requested a detailed explanation for residents.

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